Shakespeare's use of the supernatural in Hamlet and Macbeth


Author: Merissa Bartlett
Publisher: GRIN Verlag
ISBN: 3656609608
Category: Literary Criticism
Page: 10
View: 9065

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Essay from the year 2013 in the subject English - History of Literature, Eras, grade: 80.00, Memorial University of Newfoundland, course: English 3200, language: English, abstract: Witchcraft and the supernatural has been a prevalent theme throughout theatre history, having many plays involving issues of witches, wizards, magic, ghosts, and other mysticisms. The world’s most famous playwright, William Shakespeare, who wrote during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, was definitely no stranger to otherworldly premises. The ghost of the old king in Hamlet and the Weird Sisters in Macbeth are central to the plays’ plots, they are a major force in determining the two heroes’ actions, form the plays’ opening scenes, and they are an important element in establishing the plays’ atmosphere.

Shakespeare and the Supernatural


Author: Margaret Lucy
Publisher: Read Books Ltd
ISBN: 1447489535
Category: Literary Collections
Page: 36
View: 321

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Many of the earliest books, particularly those dating back to the 1900s and before, are now extremely scarce and increasingly expensive. We are republishing these classic works in affordable, high quality, modern editions, using the original text and artwork.

Shakespeare and the Outer Mystery


Author: Robert H. West
Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
ISBN: 0813165113
Category: Literary Criticism
Page: 216
View: 1804

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Shakespeare has been viewed by critics both as a secular writer who affirmed the dual nature of man and as a Christian allegorist whose work has a submerged but positive and elaborate pattern of Christian meaning. In Shakespeare and the Outer Mystery, Robert H. West explores the philosophical and supernatural elements of five Shakespearean dramas -- Macbeth, Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, and The Tempest. Through his analysis, West discovers Shakespeare's respect for the mysteries of existence but no clear definition of the philosophical and moral context of his play worlds. An artistic motivation leads Shakespeare to use these elements ambiguously to create a dramatic effect rather than to teach a moral or ideological lesson.

The Influence of the Audiences’ Supernatural Belief in "Hamlet" and "Macbeth"

A Comparison
Author: Jonas Heidger
Publisher: GRIN Verlag
ISBN: 3668345864
Category: Literary Criticism
Page: 11
View: 584

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Seminar paper from the year 2015 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Literature, grade: 2,0, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, language: English, abstract: "Hamlet" and "Macbeth" are two of Shakespeare’s most successful and greatest tragedies. One reason why this can safely be said, is that both tragedies are two of the greatest written by Shakespeare and both are some of the most written about plays in all Western literature. Given the great interest, that has scholars and critics captured and fascinated to continue writing and interpreting every character, theme, and every turn of events throughout the years. Both tragedies have much in common, as they open in the country in which the action took place, with a reigning monarchy, which is threatened from both interior and exterior of the country, as the murder of a king and the approach of an enemy armament, are at the center of both plots. The murderer in both plays is a kinsman of the king, occupying the throne out of greed for power but is being punished by death at the end of the tragedy. Both plays are located abroad, as "Hamlet" is placed in medieval Denmark and "Macbeth" in medieval Scotland. But what these plays have most in common is that the supernatural is playing a key role. The ghost of the old King in "Hamlet" and the three witches in "Macbeth" are determining the two protagonists’ actions and the establishment of the plays’ atmosphere from the outset. The supernatural in both plays was influenced by beliefs prevalent during Shakespeare’s lifetime.

Scare Quotes from Shakespeare

Marx, Keynes, and the Language of Reenchantment
Author: Martin Harries
Publisher: Stanford University Press
ISBN: 9780804736213
Category: Literary Criticism
Page: 209
View: 599

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This book argues that moments of allusion to the supernatural in Shakespeare are occasions where Karl Marx and John Maynard Keynes register the perseverance of haunted structures in modern culture. This "reenchantment," at the heart of modernity and of literary and political works central to our understanding of modernity, is the focus of this book. The author shows that allusion to supernatural moments in Shakespeare ("scare quotes") allows writers to both acknowledge and distance themselves from the supernatural phenomena that challenge their disenchanted understanding of the social world. He also uses these modern appropriations of Shakespeare as provocations to reread some of his works, notably Hamlet and Macbeth. Two pairs of linked chapters form the center of the book. One pair joins a reading of Marx, concentrating on The Eighteenth Brumaire, to Hamlet; the other links a reading of Keynes, focusing on The Economic Consequences of the Peace, to Macbeth. The chapters on Marx and Keynes trace some of the strange circuits of supernatural rhetoric in their work, Marx's use of ghosts and Keynes's fascination with witchcraft. The sequence linking Marx to Hamlet, for example, has as its anchor the Frankfurt School's concept of the phantasmagoria, the notion that it is in the most archaic that one encounters the figure of the new. Looking closely at Marx's association of the Ghost in Hamlet with the coming revolution in turn illuminates Hamlet's association of the Ghost with the supernatural beings many believed haunted mines. An opening chapter discusses Henry Dircks, a nineteenth-century English inventor who developed—and then lost his claim to—a phantasmagoria or machine to project ghosts on stage. Dircks resorted to magical rhetoric in response to his loss, which is emblematic for the book as a whole, charting ways the scare quote can, paradoxically, continue the work of enlightenment.

Revelation in Shakespeare

a study of the supernatural, religious and spiritual elements in his art
Author: Robert William Sigismund Mendl
Publisher: N.A
ISBN: N.A
Category: Literary Criticism
Page: 223
View: 2244

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The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare on Film


Author: Russell Jackson
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 110749530X
Category: Literary Criticism
Page: 368
View: 8497

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Film adaptations of Shakespeare's plays are increasingly popular and now figure prominently in the study of his work and its reception. This Companion is a lively collection of critical and historical essays on the films adapted from, and inspired by, Shakespeare's plays. Chapters have been revised and updated from the first edition to include the most recent films and scholarship. An international team of leading scholars discuss Shakespearean films from a variety of perspectives: as works of art in their own right; as products of the international movie industry; and as the work of particular directors from Laurence Olivier and Orson Welles to Franco Zeffirelli and Kenneth Branagh. They also consider specific issues such as the portrayal of Shakespeare's women and the supernatural. The emphasis is on feature films for cinema, rather than television, with strong coverage of Hamlet, Richard III, Macbeth, King Lear and Romeo and Juliet.

Shakespeare the Illusionist

Magic, Dreams, and the Supernatural on Film
Author: Neil Forsyth
Publisher: N.A
ISBN: 9780821423363
Category: Drama
Page: 232
View: 3416

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In Shakespeare the Illusionist, Neil Forsyth reviews the history of Shakespeare's plays on film, using the basic distinction in film tradition between what is owed to Méliès and what to the Lumière brothers. He then tightens his focus on those plays that include some explicit magical or supernatural elements--Puck and the fairies, ghosts and witches, or Prospero's island, for example--and sets out methodically, but with an easy touch, to review all the films that have adapted those comedies and dramas, into the present day. Forsyth's aim is not to offer yet another answer as to whether Shakespeare would have written for the screen if he were alive today, but rather to assess what various filmmakers and TV directors have in fact made of the spells, haunts, and apparitions in his plays. From analyzing early camera tricks to assessing contemporary handling of the supernatural, Forsyth reads Shakespeare films for how they use the techniques of moviemaking to address questions of illusion and dramatic influence. In doing so, he presents a bold step forward in Shakespeare and film studies, and his fresh take is presented in lively, accessible language that makes the book ideal for classroom use.

Supernatural and Secular Power in Early Modern England


Author: Marcus Harmes,Victoria Bladen
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317048377
Category: History
Page: 250
View: 4509

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For the people of early modern England, the dividing line between the natural and supernatural worlds was both negotiable and porous - particularly when it came to issues of authority. Without a precise separation between ’science’ and ’magic’ the realm of the supernatural was a contested one, that could be used both to bolster and challenge various forms of authority and the exercise of power in early modern England. In order to better understand these issues, this volume addresses a range of questions regarding the ways in which ideas, beliefs and constructions of the supernatural threatened and conflicted with authority, as well as how the power of the supernatural could be used by authorities (monarchical, religious, legal or familial) to reinforce established social norms. Drawing upon a range of historical, literary and dramatic texts the collection reveals intersecting early modern anxieties in relation to the supernatural, issues of control and the exercise of power at different levels of society, from the upper echelons of power at court to local and domestic spaces, and in a range of publication contexts - manuscript sources, printed prose texts and the early modern stage. Divided into three sections - ’Magic at Court’, ’Performance, Text and Language’ and ’Witchcraft, the Devil and the Body’ - the volume offers a broad cultural approach to the subject that reflects current research by a range of early modern scholars from the disciplines of history and literature. By bringing scholars into an interdisciplinary dialogue, the case studies presented here generate fresh insights within and between disciplines and different methodologies and approaches, which are mutually illuminating.

William Shakespeare's Use of the Supernatural in Richard III


Author: N.A
Publisher: GRIN Verlag
ISBN: 3668693196
Category: Literary Criticism
Page: 6
View: 1717

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Essay from the year 2014 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Literature, grade: 2,3, University of Passau, course: Proseminar: Shakespeare's History Plays: Richard II, Henry V and Richard III, language: English, abstract: The focus of the essay lies on the investigation of three specific examples how William Shakespeare uses supernatural elements like dreams or ghosts in his Historic Play King Richard III, in order to learn how they influence the play structurally and psychologically.

Macbeth

A Guide to the Play
Author: Herbert R. Coursen
Publisher: Greenwood Publishing Group
ISBN: N.A
Category: Literary Criticism
Page: 212
View: 5639

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Though written nearly 400 years ago, Shakespeare's Macbeth continues to capture the interest of modern audiences. The play has been staged countless times and has also been produced for film and television. As one of Shakespeare's most popular and most frequently studied works, it has generated an enormous amount of critical material and scholarly debate. This reference book is a comprehensive guide to Macbeth. The volume includes a discussion of the play's textual history, an overview of the various editions presently available, an examination of contexts and sources, an analysis of the play's dramatic structure, an exploration of major themes, a summary of critical approaches, and a review of stage, film, and television productions. A selected bibliography concludes the work.

Things Supernatural and Causeless

Shakespearean Romance
Author: Marco Mincoff
Publisher: University of Delaware Press
ISBN: 9780874134568
Category: Literary Criticism
Page: 131
View: 8628

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"After centuries of denigration, Shakespeare's romances, in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, came to be seen by many critics as among Shakespeare's most profound works - as extensions of his tragic vision, as experiments in dramatic form, as deeply significant statements about art, about nature, about life. Marco Mincoff's Things Supernatural and Causeless - a work published in Sofia, Bulgaria, in 1987, just before his death, but clearly written in the mid-1970s - sets out to show why this evaluation of the romances is wrong and to propose another way of looking at and evaluating Pericles and the plays that followed it." "For Mincoff, romance is "an inherently inferior genre" that, no matter what dramatic skills Shakespeare lavished on it, could never yield great drama. He argues that none of the romances has a profound message: whatever meaning one finds in Pericles, for instance, can be found just as readily in Apollonius of Tyre. Thus to look to these plays for greatness or for profound themes or ideas is to be inevitably disappointed or self-deluded." "What one does find in the romances, though, are plays that diverge sharply from their sources and analogues, and from other drama of the period, in the attention given to the creation of a sense of wonder. Mincoff finds, in the systematic control of language, crafting of scenes, and altering of sources in the plays, the suggestion of supernatural influence upon the play's action that exploits the "wonderful" inherent in Heliodorian romance. Mincoff suspects that "this sense of wonder really was important to Shakespeare," and finds Lafew's words (in All's Well That Ends Well) both a rather bitter commentary on Jacobean society and a clue to our better understanding of the romances:" ""They say miracles are past, and we have our philosophical persons to make modern and familiar, things supernatural and causeless. Hence it is that we make trifles of terrors, ensconcing ourselves into seeming knowledge, when we should submit ourselves to an unknown fear."" "Mincoff can spot that which is truly unusual in the romances because of his extensive knowledge of the other drama and other literature of the period and because of his ability to place the plays within the context of their own time. He places the above quotation, for example, within contemporary responses to skepticism; he discusses such dramaturgical devices as Presenters and expository supernumeraries in the context of other plays that Shakespeare's audiences would have been seeing; he is alert to the differences between our present-day understanding of life and language and that of Shakespeare's age, showing how words like art and nature are today understood in postromantic terms that make them far different words, representing far different concepts, from those used by Shakespeare in his romances."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Edinburgh Companion to Shakespeare and the Arts


Author: Mark Thornton Burnett
Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
ISBN: 0748649344
Category: Literary Criticism
Page: 588
View: 7250

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This authoritative and innovative volume explores the place of Shakespeare in relation to a wide range of artistic practices and activities, past and present.